New: Ashtons training available on valproate and pregnancy following the MHRA alert in April 2018

 In Developing your Team, Mental Health, MRHA News and Safety Alerts

Valproate and pregnancy

Over recent years, there have been many safety updates regarding the use of valproate in women of child bearing potential, and it can be difficult to remember what is actually required. The latest update was from the MHRA in April 2018, stating “valproate medicines must not be used in women and girls of childbearing potential unless the conditions of the Pregnancy Prevention Programme are met and only if other treatments are ineffective or not tolerated, as judged by an experienced specialist.”

Valproate is highly teratogenic and can cause physical defects in up to 10% of babies and neurodevelopment disorders in up to 40% of children born to mothers taking valproate.

It is now more important than ever that healthcare staff know the safety guidelines concerning the use of valproate in women, and what restrictions there are, so Ashtons has produced a training course.


What does the training course contain?

The training course pulls together all the pertinent information on alerts and updates available on the use of valproate in pregnant women. This includes the MHRA update in February 2015, the Coordination Group for Mutual Recognition and Decentralised Procedures (CMDh) press release in March 2018 and the MHRA alert in April 2018.

The MHRA alert in April 2018 was extremely important and the training course succinctly explains the requirements for healthcare organisations when prescribing valproate to women of childbearing potential. It also clearly lays out what the Pregnancy Prevention Programme is, and how it can be adhered to, to ensure your hospital is fully compliant with the new regulations.

The training is suitable for doctors and nurses and is a short presentation, which should last for about 30 minutes.

The advice given towards the end of the training course could be invaluable to help improve the safety of your female patients, and our clinical pharmacists will provide comprehensive guidance on this topic.

Should you require any advice or assistance when prescribing valproate to women, please discuss this with your visiting clinical pharmacist or contact our medical information team at Ashtons.

Please ask your visiting pharmacist for further details about the course and to arrange a training session.

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